Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Quietly Caring

Our friend Betty joined us for Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' house.  We've been friends since school days.  When I graduated from high school and set off for college, she made me a card that was three feet tall and had the youth group sign it, and she had them chip in to buy me a gift -- a wonderful bedspread for my dorm room.  It was perfect.

In a few months Betty will have completed 30 years or driving bus for Snohomish County's Community Transit.  She's driven the bus well over 2 million miles, and she's never left the county!  She says it takes twelve years of 40-hour weeks to accumulate a million miles.  That's a lot of driving!

She thinks about others.  Whether it's clipping a news item out of the paper for someone she thinks might enjoy it or keeping tabs on her friends' children, she aware of those around her.  And she accepts everyone -- she likes you just because you're a human being!

She goes a step further and takes care of others, too.  She's steady, quietly meeting people's needs.  Nearly every day for ten years she looked in on Alice, a widow from church who lived in her own home but no longer drove.  When the house next door became available, she bought it!  She continued to visit Alice daily and help her out as needed for the next eight years.  She'd cook Sunday dinner at her house and her dad, Alice, and anyone else who'd like would come by to eat with her.  Seems she seldom goes anywhere without at least one other person riding along.

No one has to tell Betty when she is needed; she just shows up!  She seems to know intuitively that you are hurting and need someone to sit with you, or you're happy and would like to have someone laugh with you.  When my brother Tom died in 1967, Betty, a teenager herself, spent hours at our house, just sitting with my parents.  

Watching this quiet, unassuming woman go about the business of caring for people without any fanfare is a blessing to me.  And I'm grateful for her friendship.

1 comment:

Joan Husby said...

What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful friend. Betty was just like this when I knew her at age 12, and again when we first met after you were both grown up. Remember?